Planting Bulbs

Every end of July I take note of the days getting a bit shorter and realize that in about another month summer will be winding down. I look forward to autumn, but it is generally too short and winter sets in too soon. I’m sorry to say I’m not a big winter fan.

I enjoy the cold well enough until about Christmas time, but shortly thereafter I long for spring. So with a premature anticipation of the days getting longer, I drew this whimsical piece entitled Planting Bulbs. I’ve been on a lightbulb kick recently.


Maybe all those old time ad illustrations that I wrote about a couple years ago, the ones with the humanized fruits, vegetables, gadgets (including lightbulbs) are somewhere in my subconscious. I find them funny and clever. Who (or what) better sells lightbulbs than a human lightbulb? More than the fun factor however, I really like light. When I was very young my bedroom was in the basement. Of course I loved that as a teenager, but as a second grader it was quite unnerving to sleep in a basement room with all the strange things going bump in the night. The solution to my fear was the venerable night light. In my case it was an actual light bulb hanging from the basement “ceiling” between the floor joists.

That light soothed me to sleep and kept those bumping noise-makers at bay. Of course I grew out of the need for it, but there is still something to say about the preference of light over dark. For instance, I love a glittering night sky, but the key ingredients are the stars, planets, and the moon. Who would want to stare up at pitch black nothingness?

Likewise with night scenes here on earth. City lights, neon signs, glowing fires and fireflies (lightning bugs, as we called them) all gloriously break through the darkness. It’s a simple fact that darkness cannot overcome light, light will always overcome darkness.

My visual pun up above was also informed by a great “light” moment that started my day. Urban farming is thriving in St. Louis. This morning I had an appointment with Arthur, an avid urban gardener who brings light to our city via his splendid Central West End Farm. Dr. Arthur mentors children, involving them and neighbors in tilling the land, and brings beauty to our city. Read more about their good work at

Here’s a quick peak at the Central West End Farm. I believe those are collard greens in front. Incredible (and edible).

Visit Central West End Farms FB page and give them a Like and Follow.


Light in The Night


I’ll own the corniness of the joke, but I do enjoy the glow of this family. Just another in the Light Bulb series. It’s my way of doing what Rembrandt and Caravaggio did, painting light against dark. Since I’m not Caravaggio or Rembrandt, this is how I do it. Fine with me, because I’m more about the whimsy and the whacky. The main thing is that light is great and darkness can’t wreck it.

The Bible equates life with light. Speaking of Jesus Christ, John wrote that “In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (Gospel of John 1:4-5)

When darkness looks like it’s winning, we can be assured that that is simply not possible. Darkness can be terrifying to a  toddler and darkness in the form of violence, injustice, disease, and disaster is terrifying for adults. But my nightlight always won out over the darkness and the Light of the World will overcome all those horrible things that go bump in our world. That’s why I like to draw the light.

Planting Bulbs ©2017 Ed Koehler

CWE Farm photo by Ed Koehler

Old Uncle Alva ©2017 Ed Koehler